Revival: an alternative to FPGAs and Emulation

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Van mars2000you

Enlighted (6326)

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07-07-2012, 00:39

WORP3 wrote:

Btw, the big disadvantage of an emulator is that you can't plug in real hardware !

Not fully true, as blueMSX has support for the Sunrise Game Reader, but I admit it's limited to this device and it does not work easily with Vista or does not work at all with Win7 (but here the problem is the non-updating of the driver provided by Sunrise).

Van hit9918

Prophet (2925)

afbeelding van hit9918

07-07-2012, 11:12

"But overall a fpga is a hardware device and you are not programming it like some cpu,
you are describing logic ! That's why you cant compare it with an emulator."

What counts is what comes out of the blackbox.

It is a too quick shot to dismiss an ARM board idea "because it is emu".
The typical emu experience is "with a massively complex windows underneath".
In that case ARM board is same category as FPGA: no windows underneath.

I often hear FPGA makers say "I dont know if I got enough space left for that".
The bigger FPGA would be more dollars.
The ARM board more likely adds features like "PAL look on VGA port".
In which case ARM board is more the real machine as FPGA board.

Van RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

afbeelding van RetroTechie

09-07-2012, 15:35

hit9918 wrote:

What counts is what comes out of the blackbox.

That's what counts for most users, and is what should decide between hardware (like FPGA-based box) or software only solution like emulator. If they give similar user experience, they would both do the job. Real machine + emulator are fine to use side-by-side btw, one does not exclude the other.

However that does not decide whether something IS an emulator, or hardware. A Verilog or VHDL design might be considered software, but implemented on a FPGA that is logic gates switching (= hardware), not a CPU executing the code of an emulator (= software).


I often hear FPGA makers say "I dont know if I got enough space left for that".

Not sure what you're trying to say with that, but "space" in FPGA terms refers to "# of leftover FPGA resources like lookup tables etc" (read: # of logic gates available to change/extend the design, while using the same FPGA chip). Other than price-related, not relevant to this discussion I think.

As an 'MSX machine', right now the Raspberry Pi is unbeatable due to it price point (even undercutting some 2nd hand MSX1's Smile2 ). To run or develop MSX software on, near-perfect. To develop MSX hardware with, of very limited use. All depends on what you're doing.

Van Vampier

Prophet (2397)

afbeelding van Vampier

10-07-2012, 07:35

let me expand on my earlier reply: I understand how FPGA works and I think it's great to directly 'emulate' the behavior of the chip with a hardware board. When I see how much the openMSX programmers put into their code by actually dissecting every chip pin by pin to see the behavior of these chips... I see the same process with 2 different approaches.

There is something to say for both approaches. However my logic includes that computer power nowadays is extremely cheap (meaning: 1Ghz doesn't cost much anymore) and with time these chips will become extremely cheap.

I have respect for the guys who make the FPGA code better and being part of the openMSX team I have great respect for my team mates who have dedicated the last 10+ years to openMSX (both monetary and time wise) without asking anything back. The FPGA programmers have put countless hours into their code-base too to make everything as real as possible.

For me this is still the spirit of MSX .... create and share (too bad the create and share also killed off the idea of MSX Tongue)

So thanks to the creators this scene is still alive.... but I fear for the future.

Van sc3000survivors

Rookie (28)

afbeelding van sc3000survivors

18-10-2012, 14:55

Hi Guys,
Ithink that this can be interesting for this thread... I used the Propeller based board PropC3 and the expansion memory C3Synapse to emulate a SEGA SC-3000 Smile
You can watch the video here:
Sega sc-3000 on a Propeller
Enjoy for now!

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